Does Nike have a First Amendment right to publicly claim that it is a leader in fighting sweatshops -- or is that false advertising? The California Supreme Court may soon decide. In a lawsuit that could have far-reaching implications for corporate "greenwashing" campaigns, environmental activist Marc Kasky has sued Nike Inc., charging that the company's public claims about conditions in its Asian factories amount to false advertising under California's consumer-protection laws.
By his own account, Barry R. Clausen has infiltrated radical environmental groups, staked out logging protests and helped bust a drug ring. He has testified before Congress about a rising tide of eco-terror, has been quoted scores of times in the national and international press and has appeared, he reckons, on 150 talk radio shows. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation and many other law enforcers don't see any sign of the surging eco-terror Mr. Clausen describes. Pressed, he acknowledges that his list of documented terror incidents includes graffiti and pie-throwings.